Lately, the attention of the world has been focused on coronavirus outbreaks originating from Wuhan, China. The number of cases and fatalities of the virus referred to as 2019-nCoV is increasingly increasing. In addition, some coronavirus myths are circulating on social media which makes people more panic. So, what are the coronavirus myths and facts?
5 Coronavirus Myths and Facts
According to WHO reports as of February 4, 2020, coronavirus or 2019-nCov has infected 20,630 people and claimed 425 lives. The increasing number of cases and fatalities certainly makes people more alert. In addition, health workers are still trying various efforts to deal with a growing number of patients even though there is no specific cure for this virus.
Public vigilance is increasingly exacerbated by the news on social media that has not been confirmed. The news is starting from alternative herbal treatments to how coronavirus is transmitted.
Therefore, WHO is starting a campaign about the facts and myths about coronavirus. What are the coronavirus myths and facts that are circulating in the community?
1. Myth: Coronavirus can spread through packages or goods
One of the popular myths is that it can be transmitted through packages or letters from China. This myth is obtained because people who often buy goods from Asia worry that their goods are contaminated by viruses. In fact, this is not true.
Fact: Actually, accepting packages or goods from Asian countries, especially China is safe. According to the CDC, coronavirus has fairly low survival ability on the surface of an item. The possible risk of transmission through the delivery of goods does exist, but it is quite low, especially, when stored without being touched for several days.
However, there is no research or evidence that this virus can spread through packages or goods. You need to remember that the highest risk of spreading this virus comes from respiratory droplets when a person coughs or sneezes.
2. Myth: Drinking alcohol can cure coronavirus
Besides being transmitted through packages or goods from infected countries, another myth is alcohol can cure this viral infection. This news is quite popular considering the name coronavirus is often associated with alcoholic beverage brands. In fact, viruses and alcoholic drinks have no connection at all.
Fact: This fact is supported by a statement from Susan Philip, director of Disease Prevention and Control from the San Francisco Health Department. According to him, healing or causes of coronavirus are not related to alcohol consumption.
In fact, alcohol can kill bacteria and viruses but when used in the form of hand sanitizer or antiseptic soap. The use of hand sanitizers containing 60% alcohol can help prevent this infection.
3. Myth: Pneumonia vaccine is effective for coronavirus
One of the dangerous symptoms of novel coronavirus is pneumonia symptoms, such as difficulty breathing. As a result, many people think that a vaccine against pneumonia can be used for this virus. This myth is totally wrong.
Fact: Actually, vaccines for pneumonia such as pneumococcal or Haemophilus influenza type B (HiB) cannot protect the body from new coronaviruses. New Coronavirus which was first discovered in residents of Wuhan, China is very new and different from other viruses.
As a result, experts need time to make vaccines against viruses. Although the pneumonia vaccine is not the answer for protection from coronavirus, getting a vaccine against the respiratory disease is still recommended. This is to protect your health even if you do not get a coronavirus outbreak.
4. Myth: Consumption of garlic prevents infection
Besides alcohol, another myth related to coronavirus healing is the consumption of garlic allegedly can prevent viral infections.
Fact: Garlic does many benefits that are good for health because of the high content of antibacterial compounds in it. The benefits are starting from maintaining heart health to reducing the risk of lung cancer.
However, until now there has been no research that really proves that garlic can prevent coronavirus infections. Therefore, news about the consumption of garlic can protect the body from coronavirus has not been proven true.
5. Myth: Coronavirus can be transmitted through eyesight
Have you heard the news or myths about coronavirus transmission can occur through eyesight? If so, you do not need to worry because the news is not true at all.
Fact: As explained earlier, the spread of coronaviruses is most likely due to respiratory droplets when the person coughs or sneezes. If you are within the distance of a virus which is about two meters, then the risk is higher.
Coronavirus transmission through eyesight has not been proven to be true. However, a significant risk can occur when you rub your eyes with dirty hands.
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Experts strongly recommend always washing hands before and after handling an object. You are also not recommended to hold the eyes, nose, and mouth with dirty hands.
If you get news or coronavirus myths that are quite controversial, it is advisable to look for the truth first. So, you do not spread the news that may not be true to others.